Yale’s conservatives are getting excited. We finally have a cause to unite us: Boycott Hillary!
As a right-winger, I should be helping the boycott effort, but I’m not. While my friends and allies are getting signatures for petitions, I’m either napping or having a drink.
But it isn’t laziness that has kept me from assisting the boycott. I have several reasons for opposing it:
1. The committee that chooses the Class Day speaker is made up of ordinary students. If the Class Day speaker is so important to Yale’s conservatives, why didn’t one of us volunteer to serve on the committee? There is a procedure for inviting a speaker.
We knew this as well as any Yalie; if there had been one conservative willing to join the committee in September, Yale would most likely have secured a different speaker. We weren’t disenfranchised from this process; none of us chose to get involved. Boycotting now violates Conservative Principle #987: You made your bed, now lie in it.
2. Once the Class Day committee has offered an invitation to a speaker, it is just plain rude to tell our guest she is not wanted. Daniel Mindus, the organizer of the protest, argued that the senator boycotted her own graduation speaker, and now we’re just giving her a taste of her own medicine.
I don’t see why Yale’s conservatives need to sink to her level. Conservatives pride themselves on good manners and tradition. One of the most ancient rules of social conduct is hospitality. Conservatives are supposed to accept social constructs. Hospitality towards honored guests is a time-honored rule which we must honor.
3. The senator is not a war criminal or a traitor. She has not even been convicted of any crimes. In the American legal system, we presume someone innocent. As a high-profile, public institution, this university must presume her innocent. To rescind her invitation would undermine this American legal principle. And conservatives are supposed to respect due process.
4. Mindus argued that Senator Clinton does not unify the senior class. Look, no one is going to unify the senior class. There are over 1,000 smart, opinionated young people. Even if Yale invited the most boring, non-controversial speaker, someone would still be offended.
If I were a senior, I wouldn’t attend the senator’s speech — I am uninterested in any wisdom she has to impart. But I wouldn’t make a scene. Instead, I would quietly slink over to Anna Liffey’s with the other conservatives and drown my sorrows in a few drinks.
Emily Grant is a junior in Davenport College. She is editor in chief of the Yale Free Press and a member of the Party of the Right.